21 August 2009

Have I told you lately how I love Echinaceas?


We interrupt your possible weather tantrums for some important news...bloomingwriter is absolutely crazy about coneflowers, and they're approaching peak bloom in her garden.


I can't repeat often enough that one of the absolute ultimate perennials in our garden is the coneflower. I loved them when we had only two choices, (purple and white); I lost my mind for them when the new colours started appearing. My favourite? You'll see in a bit.

Although this was not the year for getting much done in the garden in spring and early summer, I did manage to addfew new and new-to-our-garden varieties this year, of course. Of those, several haven't yet flowered but are working on it: Meringue, Twilight, and Tiki Torch were all somewhat traumatized when I got them, and are just rallying now. This has been a complaint for other gardeners; that some of the new colours of cones are rushed into production so quickly that the plants are weak when sent out to nurseries. Maybe they should be allowed to grow on for a year and then sold. That would be my opinion.


So far, I'm loving the rich colour of 'Tomato Soup', shown here with a fading flower, one approaching maturity, and several just getting going. This one is planted near 'Summer Sky' and 'Sundown', but I can't get a great photo of all of them in one shot for colour comparisons because they're just that far apart, in various stages of flowering, and so on.

I've been watching the past few days as 'Mac n Cheese' starts to flower. It looks to be almost the same shade as 'Harvest Moon', but we'll see what happens after the weekend. Why after the weekend? Stay tuned below...

This is still my favourite of the new coneflowers, and has been since I brought it home in 2007: 'Green Envy'. I love everything about this cone; its colour, its vigour, its LONG bloom period; it'll still be putting up stems in October, if the past two seasons are any indication.

Equally charming, though different, is the double 'Coconut Lime.' This plant is very vigourous and floriferous this year, though a second plant that was struggling last year is still sulking this summer.

I know not everyone loves the double coneflowers because the central florets obscure the cones But I like the exuberance of 'Pink Double Delight' a great deal. I have another double pink that is suffering from Lost Label syndrome, and I believe it's 'Razzmatazz', which seems to have more reflexed petals than this one.

Speaking of reflexed petals, here is 'Harvest Moon', from the Big Sky series. Its sibling, 'Sundown', is at the top of this post, with leaf-cutter bee slices taken out of several petals. In the background of this photo is 'Sunrise', which is pale yellow and hiding behind the moon.

Here's 'Summer Sky', and I have to say the sky did show these shades last night when the sun set. Tonight, not so much.

This is possibly my second-favourite coneflower because of the message it presents. 'Hope' was created as a tribute to those who have had breast cancer. I've taken it as my avatar in several sites, including on Facebook, and will be changing here, too. The flowers are just gorgeous, and anytime I get one with that green eye staying pretty green I'm happy. Must be part Irish, or something.

We may be needing the luck of the Irish here in Nova Scotia in the next couple of days, because there's a weather tantrum headed this way by the name of Hurricane Bill. While this amuses me a bit because we have a friend named Bill who reminds me of a hurricane, I don't think any of us need a hurricane to come calling. It may hit the south shore of the province, all coasts, or miss us entirely. But I hope that everyone and everything, from coneflowers to hummingbirds to cottages to boats, will stay safe over the next couple of days while the weather forces make up their minds.

25 comments:

  1. Jodi, when it comes to coneflowers, we're twin daughters of different mothers! With all the Big Sky series in our garden as well as the others you've mentioned (minus Mac 'n' Cheese, but add Tomato Soup!), they are definitely the stars of our garden. Coconut Lime has astounded me with its length of time that a single bloom will last. MONTHS! How it does that is beyond me. We also have 'Sparkler' (variegated leaves!) and 'Purity' which isn't a strong grower yet for me.

    The one I want next is 'Hot Papaya.' It's on the list for next year! I've yet to see it in any nursery here.

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  2. Jodi, your echinacea pictures make me want more echinacea. For some reasons they are not so popular here. There is hardly variety choice. Your collection is wonderful.
    .
    Thank you for shopping advice. I will be making a list.
    .
    Greetings,

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  3. Jodi, I've been watching Bill's track - and strength - over the past few days, worrying about your beautiful garden! I googled where you live in NS, because I couldn't remember which coast you lived on. I hated this morning seeing the consensus track shift closer to you guys - and hope that it weakens more and moves quickly. Living in a hurricane zone myself, I know how these storms can disrupt everything - so I'm thinking about you and hope all will be well!

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  4. Oh Jodi the coneflowers are delicious~especially with names like Mac 'n Cheese and Tomato Soup. Seriously they are wonderful looking flowers. I've been adding more to the mix. I can see that hybridizers have been mixing the genetic material from Echinacea tennesseensis to get that upward curved petal!

    Let's hope Bill becomes a small thunderstorm before it reaches land.

    gail

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  5. I will be thinking of you concerning 'Bill'. Don't mess around....head for high ground. The perennials will survive the tossing although they may look tattered. I think we are in the clear here.

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  6. Batten down the hatches and take care of yourself. The flowers will survive all Bill and any other storm can throw at them. Just make sure the cat children, Horse and Donkey will be ok too. I know you will of course. Your coneflower collection is marvelous. Gosh I don't think you told us you loved them for about hmmm, lets see, possibly two whole postings. ;)

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  7. Jodi, you have some beauties, the green envy and coconut is so different and lovely. Do they have any fragrance? I love all of the new ones coming out. The Tomato Soup one looks like an interesting one.

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  8. I will also join you in a love affair with coneflowers! I started out the season with only two varieties, now I have six! But there are plenty others catching my eye, if only I had more room. I'm particulary attracted to your Green Envy variety. Pretty!

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  9. I also love coneflowers but unfortunate they don’t do well in my area. You have a fantastic collection.
    I hope Bill keep away from you area.

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  10. Jodi,
    I hope Bill burns out quickly, we'll be thinking about you. You've inspired us to collect coneflowers now. All of our looks so ratty though. I wonder what we are doing wrong? Do you deadhead and does the foliage ever look bad on yours?--Randy

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  11. Hi Jodi, I haven't had the news on today, so I don't know what Bill did or is doing. I hope things are OK for you there. I did notice someone said something about a "Bill" in a blog post, so they may have been talking about the hurricane. I'll have to check it out.

    Take care! Oh, and you have an awesome coneflower collection! I have a few different ones, and some older ones. They are one of my favorite kinds of flowers, too.

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  12. I'm with you on the Echinaceas! I added a few new varieties to what I already had. I think my favorite new one is 'Tiki Torch', it will be worth your wait. I actually found 'Green Envy' too after seeing it on your blog awhile back, and you're right, it's at the top of my favorites too.

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  13. Jodi, I think you qualify as a true
    'conehead', ha. I'm with you, love them and hope to add more varieties to my garden.

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  14. I need more coneflowers, clearly, I do.

    I do hope that you are okay this weekend. Hurricane Bill doesn't seem like he would be "garden-friendly".

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  15. Thanks to all for your concern. Hurricane bill has left us unscathed, the garden a little rumpled. My laptop is having a headache so I'm only on my iPhone or hubbys old computer til it can be fixed, so won't be doing much visiting or commenting. But I wanted to let you all know we're fine. Bill was just a little squall compared with some weather we get!

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  16. Lovely photos of these pretty Echinacea flowers. The background on your blog is very elegant. Watercolors are so dreamy to look at. Thank you for such a nice place to visit.

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  17. Jodi, glad to hear Bill left you unscathed, even if he did leave your laptop with a headache.

    I'm just learning to love echinaceas. My head was turned by Summer Sky in my nephew's garden a couple of years ago in Michigan. I looked for it in vain in Colorado and finally a friend found one for me at a greenhouse far from home. She wanted to know how badly I wanted it since the price was hefty. I paid up, and waited on pins and needles for it to bloom. Well, either the tag was wrong or it takes some maturity for the colors to rival what I had seen before. But it's still pretty, and I may add some more (reasonably-priced) ones next year. Yours are all lovely!

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  18. i just love cone flowers specially the purple ones. But this plant is not available here. i am gifted some seeds of pink cone flowers by a friend in UK. and i am sowing them this fall. i wish they will be perennials in my sub-tropical climate.

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  19. Thanks for visiting my blog. I have looked at several of your posted and your garden is amazing. I also like the cone flower but do not have the collection that you do. I never knew they came in so many colors.
    Your lilies are so beautiful also. One thing I have realized over the years is that there are so many different kinds I don't think I will ever be able to have them all!

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  20. I never realised there were so many different cone flowers perhaps there aren't in England. I shall look out for more. Do hope that they - and you - aren't too battered by the storm. Johnson

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  21. Glad to hear Bill passed by.

    I promise - next year I'm going to come home with a truck filled with nothing but coneflowers. I have visions of the Green Envy and Tomato Soup being the foundation for a large bed.

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  22. Marvellous pictures Jodi - I love coneflowers, but don't seem to be able to grow them - so just enjoy other people's instead. Thanks.

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  23. I get to relive bloom again thanks to your garden being farther north. An added attraction is seeing the various hybrids.
    Donna

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  24. Jodi, I am an echinacea lover, too, and it's wonderful to see all your blooms here just as mine are fading. I've been out of the loop, so to speak, for the past week, so I do hope Bill blew himself out at sea and stayed away from your area.

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  25. Your cone flowers are very individual, I think they might be my next 'must haves'! The tail flick of your Hurricane Bill is making itself felt down the west coast of Ireland this week, and even my sheltered bed is a wreck!

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